Thursday, April 26, 2012

Solo shows every single dingle Tuesday

So, if you thought that iO West was all about long-form improv and the Harold and its legacy of inspirational improv, you were right.

If you thought that iO West was also about fostering community and creativity through a host of vehicles, including improv, sketch, stand-up, television writing, solo performance and cocktails, you were also right. 

And, speaking of solo performance, every Tuesday on the Main Stage from 8:30 to 9:30, two quite different solo performers display on the stage their crafty creations, from stand-up to sketch to memoir to not-any-of-those-things to more. 

And drinks are always served and valet is always $5.

Tuesday, May 1: Andrea Kittelson and Dhruv Singh

Tuesday, May 8: Sharon Houston and John Grady

Tuesday, May 15: Carla Snowden and Chris McGowan

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adult improv with adult star Kiki D'Aire and Glory Stories

What happens when you combine a sexy adult film star, a gaggle of the most talented improvisers and cheap drinks? Through your back out hilarity is what happens.

Every other Friday night, following improv legends Orpheus Roy and Old Milwaukee, Glory Stories embarks upon a whirlwind kinkathon.

This Friday night, adult star Kiki D'Aire, will get them off to a powerful start with monologues from her life.

I close my eyes and imagine that you won't want to miss it. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Solo Showcase Sunday

Students of the iO West Solo Performance class showcase their creations this Sunday night at 11 on the iO West Main Stage

This week it's Deb Granieri and Dhruv Singh. 

Enjoy hooch alongside the hokum in the form of in-theater cocktail service and $5 valet.

Doctor Who what and where?

A wily troupe of  improv docs in the form of Doctor Who Live! will improvise an hour-long episode of the popular science fiction television show Doctor Who based on an audience suggestion at 8pm, Friday, April 20, 2012 on the iO West Main Stage.

So, drink up whatever the cocktail server serves in the house because there will be plenty of doctors in that house - and plenty of sci-fi references to drink about.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rhode Island and Missouri recoup their stage cred

During the second week of  the United States of Improv, Rhode Island beat California, and Missouri slammed the veteran-stacked New York. It pays to pack the house with Midwesterners who, despite their farmer DNA, are not averse to staying up until midnight in order to support their kindly kinfolk.

The wicked funny Reckoning

For over ten years, the Reckoning has played to packed houses and critical acclaim at Chicago’s iO Theater and toured across the country with their unique brand of long-form improvisation. 

Hailed as “hands-down, the best in Chicago” and “a versatile rock band” of improvisers, they are known for their experimentation and innovation. As an ensemble, they are " a powerhouse of improvised brilliance, developing the sort of close interpersonal relationships that result in abundant onstage chemistry" – The Onion A.V. Club 

Three of the Reckoning's members - Eric Hunicutt, Brian Jack, and Brad Morris - who now call Los Angeles home, bring the Reckoning’s mischief to the iO West Main Stage

Purchase tickets for tonight's 8:00 show here.

Three top-tier two-person teams tonight

Tonight at 8:30, three towering two-person teams take to the Main Stage.

Elevator is a two-person improv show that takes you on a ride through a series of character-based improv scenes. The first scene always starts in a “stuck” elevator where Aaron Krebs and Pete Capella begin their journey.  

Hill/Jones, winners of the 2008 iO West Duo Competition, bring high energy and unique characters to each world they create. Hill/Jones is Dave Hill of Reno 911 and Matt Jones of Breaking Bad. 

Razowsky & Clifford is a two-person improv show that has become one of LA’s “must see” performances. David Razowsky (Spin City, The Weekenders) and Carrie Clifford (The Slammin’ Salmon, Hollywood Residential) have performed their signature long-form style at improv festivals around the globe.

They relish in the purist form of improv, starting with nothing. An audience member decides where to place two chairs for the first scene and they’re off and running. This random placement two chairs dictates the entire performance, and becomes the spring board for a variety of characters and relationships.

 Purchase tickets here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homer Simpson joins the cast of Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!

Dan Castelleneta, the voice of Homer Simpson, and Deb Lacusta, writer for the Simpsons, will sing and improvise with Opening Night: The Improvised Musical! this Friday night on the iO West Main Stage. 

I imagine that you should do what Lisa would do (not Homer) and order tickets ahead of time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Florida might not know how to count but it sure knows its improv

During the second night of the United States of Improv, Florida proved its prowess in its defeat of the Buckeye State and now heads to the next round. 

Who will win next week? Find out Tuesday and Wednesday on the Main Stage at 11:30pm.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Jersey has the shore and now the win

So Virginia boasts more high-income folks than any other state. New Jersey is home to more spray tans. 

And that orange skin might be just what the doctor ordered as New Jersey took the first game of the United States of Improv last night at iO West.

It must be skin and not size that mattered here as team New Jersey was and is tiny.

Team New Jersey consists of Mike Ciriaco, Rachel Drummond, Neil Gargulio, Jason Horton, Mike Hughes and Ed Lee.

While team Virginia claims Joy Allen, Bennie Arthur, Carrie Barrett, Matt Blitz, Craig Cackowski, John Conroy, Ali Davis, Jeff Hawkins, TW Leshner, Sean Monahan, Levin O'Connor, Ryan O'Quinn, Patrick Simkins, and Chris Stathis. 

Had last night's bout been a tug-o-war and not tug-o-wit (or tint), history might have turned out differently. 

The next United States of Improv battle commences this evening at 11:30 on the Main Stage between Florida and Ohio. 

Come and root (and vote) for your favorite state.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What state are you from (euphoria doesn't count) and what are you doing tonight?

In celebration of the diverse menagerie of improvisers here at iO West, iO West will host the United States of Improv during which teams from 16 different states will compete to be dubbed "State of the Union."

This is one of the few times where improvisers from all regions, levels of experience and improv venues, including iO West, Second City, UCB and others, get to share the stage in commemoration of their common heritage and in joyful homage to the art of long-form improv. 

The event starts TONIGHT at 11:30 on the Main Stage after a terrific line-up of  shows, including USS Rock and Roll and Sweeterhouse

Enjoy the show with in-theater cocktails, and get in on the bracket to win a free improv class.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Put your funny to the sketch test

Top Story! Weekly is looking for comedy writers to join its staff.

Top Story! Weekly is an hour-long, Main Stage sketch show based on the week's news. It is where "hard news meets Hollywood." It is also where writers hone and showcase their witty wares.

Other Top Story members have worked or work at all the major networks (including cable) and alongside some of the most celebrated comics from Billy Crystal to Conan O'Brien.

To audition, email a sketch packet, consisting of three topical or newsworthy sketches, and a resume to no later than Monday, April 16, 2012. 

Writers who are selected will be notified on April 24, 2012.

As you compile your packet, attend a live Top Story! Weekly show, check out Top Story's many videos on youtube and read this NPR article on the art of being funny.

For more information, visit Top Story! Weekly or email

Good luck!